The world championship starts in a few days. You can read all information about the tournament here in the news blog.
The most important things at a glance
“Fear is gone”: Gladbach’s Itakura ready for Germany match
Japan’s defensive all-rounder Ko Itakura feels ready for the start of the World Cup after his knee injury. The 25-year-old pro from Borussia Mönchengladbach emphasized that he was a little concerned about the start of the World Cup and his stability after a ruptured inner tube. “But the fear is gone,” Itakura told Japanese media after Germany’s 2-1 friendly against Canada. Itakura started in Dubai on Thursday and was only substituted after more than an hour. At Gladbach, after a two-month break, it was only enough for a short appearance in the final minutes.
Itakura should again be an option for the starting eleven for the World Cup opening match against Germany on Wednesday (2 p.m. in the live ticker on t-online). The Bundesliga legionaire feels comfortable in both central defense and defensive midfield. With Japan still struggling with the health of several key players, such as Hidemasa Morita or Stuttgart’s Wataru Endo, Itakura’s timely recovery is particularly valuable for national coach Hajime Moriyasu.
Merz: World Cup “not a political demonstration event”
Friedrich Merz advises German football fans to abide by the laws of the emirate during the World Cup in Qatar. “The World Cup is a sporting event and not a political demonstration event. Ultimately, the fans are guests in Qatar and the rights of the host country must be respected,” the CDU leader told the newspapers of media group Funke.
Before the World Cup kicks off this Sunday (until December 18), the emirate has been criticized for its controversial human rights record. For example, homosexuality is a criminal offense in Qatar. When asked, Merz said: “It’s about football and the freedom of movement and safety of all fans. We have to leave the World Cup as it is: a major sporting event in a country that is rightly viewed critically. Qatar can do that.” show that it is a good host.”
Lahm: Semi-finals should be the goal for DFB
For world champion captain Philipp Lahm, Germany is not one of the top favorites at the World Cup, but the semi-finals must be the goal. “We are definitely not in the top three or four countries at the moment – simply because of the last two finals. The goal should be to get to the last four,” the 39-year-old told the editorial network Germany.
Above all, Lahm relies on team spirit. “I think it’s important that identity takes place again. But that often only happens during a tournament,” said the long-time Bayern professional: “The recent appearances at major tournaments have been disappointing – it’s all the more important now to have a. to write a new story, to regain trust. The discussion about ‘The Team’ also arose because what was on the label was no longer there.”
As tournament director of the EM 2024, he cannot learn anything from the World Cup, according to Lahm. “For example, I don’t need to talk about sustainability if I build eight stadiums in a city in a country that has no football or fan culture. Plus the still problematic human rights situation. What we have to do in view of 2024 has nothing to do with this. make,” he said.
Personnel problems in Argentina
Shortly before the start of the World Cup, fellow favorite Argentina is plagued by major personnel problems on the offensive. As the Argentinian association AFA announced on Thursday, the two strikers Nicolas Gonzalez and Joaquin Correa had to leave before the start of the game due to an injury.
Former Stuttgart Gonzalez suffered a muscle injury in training and Atletico Madrid’s Angel Correa has been called up as a substitute. The association has not specified Joaquin Correa’s injury, but Thiago Almada of Atlanta United of Major League Soccer (MLS) replaces him in the squad.
In the hunt for the third world title, the team around veteran Lionel Messi in Qatar will meet Saudi Arabia for the first time on Tuesday (11 a.m. in the live ticker on t-online). Then it’s Group C against Mexico (November 26) and Poland (November 30).